Inside the project

PIEM Red Dragon: Sea water intake and outfall for cooling system

Detailed engineering of the Cooling Water Intake and Cooling Water Outfall systems for the new thermal power generation Units (6 & 7) as part of the expansion of Mejillones Power Plant. Each unit is designed to generate a gross electrical output of 375MW.

Cooling water intake system

The cooling water intake system comprises four syphon pipelines of 2200mm (two pipelines per Unit) over a jetty structure. The pipelines are part of the structural system and give longitudinal stiffness to the structure.

The water is conducted from the intake towers to an onshore basin, where the water is filtered and then pumped to the condenser of each Unit

The project also comprises the design of the intake basin filling system, for which a smaller syphon pipeline has been considered, whose operation is performed with the vacuum system of the main syphon lines.

Cooling water outfall system

Each Unit comprises an identical but independent discharge system, which main purpose is to properly conduct the water from the returning pipes, located at an elevation of +18.1m NRS, to the outfall pipelines.  To do so, energy dissipation is required as well as  air entrainment prevention, which besides being a design requirement for the stability of the outfall pipes is also a strict environmental requirement for this project.

Each Unit comprises a set of chambers that constitute the Energy Dissipation System (EDS) and the discharge chamber of the outfalls. Each unit comprises two outfall pipelines of 2,000mm (four pipes in total). Reinforced concrete ballasts are provided for pipeline stability.

The EDS is an essential element of the discharge system and due to its complex hydraulic  performance, it was verified in a physical model.



Basic and detailed engineering


Chile, Bay of Mejillones


SK Engineering & Construction


SK Engineering & Construction


2015 – 2016

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